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Moorpark College honors our veterans and provides support all year round

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Moorpark College honors our veterans and provides support all year round

Yank airmen smile out of the window of their bomber,

Yank airmen smile out of the window of their bomber, "Hell Hen", following their arrival at Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, May 22. They helped to bomb Germany out of the war. Photo credit: Press Association, 1945

Yank airmen smile out of the window of their bomber, "Hell Hen", following their arrival at Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, May 22. They helped to bomb Germany out of the war. Photo credit: Press Association, 1945

Yank airmen smile out of the window of their bomber, "Hell Hen", following their arrival at Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, May 22. They helped to bomb Germany out of the war. Photo credit: Press Association, 1945

By Shannon Holst

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Each year on Nov. 11, America honors the 19.6 million men and women that have served our nation.

But Moorpark College supports its veterans all year round.

Currently, there are around 312 veterans and military dependents utilizing various resources on campus. But many of our military students may not be aware of, or choose not, to take advantage of all that Moorpark College has to offer.

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Moorpark Students write thank you notes in support of our military during Veterans Week 2017. Photo credit: Cole Carlson

The Moorpark College Veterans Resource Center (VRC) is an on-campus resource offering support to help our veterans successfully further their education.

Zachary Barclift, a student worker with the VRC and former veteran, said there are many ways veterans can receive help once returning home.

“The Veteran Resource Center is the one-stop-shop for veterans to receive help in enrolling, registering for classes, requesting their education benefits, receiving educational counseling, participate in a book loan program, and utilizing a lounge area for camaraderie and study,” Barclift said.

While some may find it easier than others, many of these men and women have a hard time adjusting back into civilian life. Emphasizing community and companionship, the military offers its members a sense of purpose that society tends to lack. Often times this leads to people feeling isolated and unsure of where they fit in once they return home.

Moorpark College President Luis Sanchez wants to bridge the gap ensuring veterans gain the confidence they need to successfully transition back into society and further their education in the process.

“I do think that a large number of veterans suffer from some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, Sanchez said. “We want to help them and provide them the resources they need.”

David Granirer, a sociology student and former marine, explains how he is confident he is learning how to adjust. He credits the Veteran Resource Center as a place that offers an environment that helps him thrive.

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The military can provide a sense of family, something that society can lack upon return home, (from left to right), Corporal Brugger 24, Corporal Ahrensfield 28, Corporal Granirer 25, Corporal Osoria 24, VMFA (aw)-225. Photo credit: David Granirer

“I am a huge fan of the VRC. It’s a huge help having an environment with people who shared similar experiences as me,” Granirer said. “I’m still high-strung, but my friends tell me I’ve calmed down a bit.”

With Veterans Day devoted to parades, ceremonies, and celebrations, it feels natural to extend an outpouring of support, showering our veterans with enthusiastic ‘thank yous’ and handshakes. Some military members find the attention slightly overwhelming.

“While we always appreciate a ‘thank you for your service’ it is by no means required,” Granirer said. “In fact, many of us get a little embarrassed.”

Barclift agrees, explaining that there are better ways to thank a veteran.

“Our society puts a great emphasis on thanking veterans, to an extent that can be more alienating than welcoming,” he said. “What so many want is to come home [and] to be equal parts of their communities, whether they are returning to their hometowns or moving to new cities and new sights.”

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Military members are honored at the Veteran's Plaza at Lemon Park, in Simi Valley. Photo credit: Michelle De Leon

Barclift invited students to visit the VRC to meet their classmates that have served.

“Hear their stories, seek them out,” Barclift suggests. “Thank a veteran, not with a beer or a handshake, but by welcoming them into your clubs, your communities; in this way, you can truly thank a veteran by helping them come home.”

For more ways on how you can get involved in helping our veteran students please visit the Moorpark College Veteran Resource Center.

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